If you could give new moms or moms-to-be one piece of advice, what words of wisdom would you share? We put the question to moms who blog about parenting, and they responded with a wealth of practical (and funny!) advice on motherhood. Now that readers have ranked the most helpful answers, we're sharing the top ten tips.
1. Forget Parenting "Rules"
2. Prepare for a Flood of Advice
"Be prepared for LOTS of unsolicited advice! Don't get annoyed by it, just expect it. Women love to share what worked for them and share their stories of motherhood even when you don't ask! Just take it with a grain of salt, throw out what advice you don't like and cling to the advice you do!" -Stacey, I’m a Lazy Mom
3. Carve out "Me" Time
"Take some "me time" for yourself every day. As a new mom you have a million things to do, and it is hard to see yourself taking even a minute or two from your non-stop schedule of diaper changes, feedings, soothing and much more. However, it is SO important that you arrange an hour or even 15-20 minutes a day where you do something that makes YOU relax…You will be a much better mom giving yourself this short break every day!” -Mia B. Smith, of Pregnancy Fitness
4. Relax About Baby Products
“Babies need your love, care and attention more than anything. They will do fine without the latest and greatest gadgets and furnishings. The baby business is a billion dollar industry that tries to convince you that you need all these things they’re promoting.” -Barbara Desmarais, The Parenting Coach
5. Find Doctors You Love
“A good rapport with your doctor is key. If you don't feel comfortable with your Ob/Gyn, your general practitioner or your pediatrician do NOT hesitate to find a new one. This is a stressful time and you need someone you can count on for support.” -Suniverse, The Suniverse
6. Accept Your Children As They Are
"Accept your child for whoever and whatever they are. Wanted a boy but got a girl? Wanted a cuddly one and yours is standoffish? Wanted a boy who played sports but you got one who prefers princess dress-up? Wanted a healthy one but got a chronically ill one? We don't always get to choose what we get, but we do get to choose how we *handle* what — and who — we get. Our love and acceptance of our kids, especially those who are different from their peers, means the world to them." -Sarah Hoffman, Sarah Hoffman: On Parenting a Boy Who is Different
7. Listen to Your Instincts
8. Connect with Other Moms
“Connect with other mom or moms-to-be to ensure you have friends with kids around the same age. It's a great social outlet for you and the baby. Moms' groups, online message boards, mommy & me classes and the local park are great places to connect with other moms. I wish I had done it sooner!” -Christina Simon, Beyond the Brochure
9. Rest When Your Baby Sleeps
“The biggest thing I learned was to rest when baby is sleeping, and to get plenty of rest before baby is born. Housework and chores can wait! Mama needs rest just like baby needs their rest.” -Amanda Acuna, Mommy Mandy
10. Ask for Help
"Ask for help," says Jodi Shaw, author of the blog Rants and Rascals. She expands on the tip on her blog: "We all need help now and then. Help changing the baby, feeding the baby, cooking food, caring for other siblings ... in the family. Help cleaning the house, doing laundry. As a new mom you will find that there will be times you might feel overwhelmed with everything that needs to be done. These are the same tasks and chores you did daily, but now with a new baby crying for you 24/7 that list can seem almost unbearable…There is no shame in asking for help from your friends and family."
What one tip would you give to new moms or moms-to-be?